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Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building


on cup
stacking up,
smaller, smaller,
and growing taller!

Children building—
Concrete poetry—...

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on cup
stacking up,
smaller, smaller,
and growing taller!

Children building—
Concrete poetry—

Pair them with notable structures from around the world and see children's constructions taken to the level of architectural treasures.

Here is a unique celebration of children's playtime explorations and the surprising ways childhood experiences find expression in the dreams and works of innovative architects.

Come be inspired to play—dream—build—discover!

A 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Nonfiction Honor Winner

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Leona Illig
There cannot be too much praise for this outstanding picture book that links the building skills of children to some of the great architectural masterpieces of the world. The book is composed of 14 two-page spreads. Each left-hand page contains an illustration of children creating various shapes or forms, and a poem, either in rhyme or free form, which describes their activity. The right-hand page consists of a full-page photograph of a famous building that looks as if it might have been inspired by the children's activities. At the back of the book are notes on the architects, quotes from them about their philosophies, information about their masterpieces, and a list of the author's sources. Words cannot do this book justice, since this is a supremely visual book, from the creative arrangement of the poems (which in itself is groundbreaking) to the stunning photographs. Such buildings as the Guggenheim, Habitat 67, and the Sclera Pavilion are featured, among many others. The children featured in the illustrations represent different races and nationalities, and the selection of buildings is truly global. The pages are not numbered. The buildings are not identified until the end of the book, but this could provide an opportunity for parents and teachers to engage young readers in an identification game. This picture book, which should be an award winner, would be a great addition to any home or classroom. Reviewer: Leona Illig
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—A clever introduction to architecture. Each spread shows children playing on one side and a photograph of a famous building on the other. The children, done with watercolor in a fairly standard illustrative style, are pictured working with toys that mirror the form of the featured buildings. For example, a baby's stacking rings are shown opposite the Guggenheim Museum, and wooden blocks mirror the shape of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater. Each spread also contains a short poem, many rhyming, that describes the youngster's play. The poems are printed in large font and are typeset to complement the shape of the architecture pictured. They are age appropriate and well crafted; for example, the one for the Montreal Biosphere reads, "Easy peasy as can be/toothpicks joining one, two, three." Back matter includes brief paragraphs about each building and mini portraits and paragraphs about the architects, who come from a variety of countries; most are men. This book is more accessible than J. Patrick Lewis's Monumental Verse (National Geographic, 2005) or a more factual text like Culture in Action: Architecture (Raintree, 2009) and is a good precursor for either of them.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Kirkus Reviews
Hale turns her educated eye to modern and contemporary architecture and produces a book that is at once groundbreaking, child-friendly and marvelously inclusive. With a celebratory tone, Hale cleverly structures this unusual picture book by matching a series of lively concrete poems and vignettes of young children at play (creating simple structures of all types), pairing them with carefully selected photos of complementary, emblematic 20th- and 21st-century structures. Mud pies are compared to Hassan Fathy's all-earthen New Gourna Village (Luxor , Egypt); beachfront sand castles to Antoni Gaudí's soaring La Sagrada Família Basilica (Barcelona, Spain); busy LEGO® projects with Moshe Safdie's modular Habitat 67 housing (Montréal, Québec); cardboard-tube models to Shigeru Ban's amazing Paper Tube School (Sichuan Provence, China); tongue-depressor/Popsicle-stick and white-glue crafts with the vertical slats of David Adjaye's Sclera Pavilion (London, England); and the "soft forms / tumble making / ever-changing / caverns, secret spaces" of pillow forts with Frank Gehry's curvilinear Guggenheim (Bilbao, Spain). Well-organized and accessible backmatter contains the photo, name and location of each of the 15 highlighted structures, a brief biography of and a telling quote from each structure's architect, and Hale's own portrait of each designer. This extraordinary new picture book masterfully tackles the complex task of contextualizing seemingly complex architectural concepts within a child's own world of play. (Informational picture book/poetry. 2-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781600606519
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/1996
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 223,962
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD550L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.06 (w) x 8.84 (h) x 0.35 (d)

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